Last week, I discussed Lectio Divina. This is a method of prayer that uses the Bible, art, or music as a tool to enter into a meditative conversation with God. I mentioned that I often pray with icons. I allow my eyes to wander around the icon. When my eyes stop at a particular object, color, or scene, I use that as the beginning of a contemplative session.
I was recently praying with a Marion icon called “Holy Protection.” The stole or shroud that Mary is holding has five stars (or sometimes five crosses) on it. A question arose: "What are five positive things that have occurred in the parish lately? Within the meditation, a word that kept coming to me was “momentum.”
The first star was the National Black Catholic Congress. 150 delegates from Philadelphia
attended, including a strong contingency from St. Raymond. The feedback from the delegates has been very positive. Personally, it was one of the best professional conferences I ever attended. Many said it was one of the finest Congresses ever. For close to 50% of the
delegates, it was their first Congress. They are looking forward to the next one. That bodes well for future momentum.
The second star involved the St. Raymond delegates. They were active during - and after - the Congress. Within two weeks after returning home, several delegates met for a business lunch. We discussed how to build on the Congress’s enthusiasm and momentum. The Congress emphasized the future of the church. In particular, it focused on our youth.
The St. Raymond delegates made plans to engage three different groups of our young people. That included middle-school students, high-school students, and young adults. We decided to connect with each group within the next 30 days. (More momentum).
The third star involved this actual “engagement with the youth.” It was the key action item
coming out of the Congress. Congress leadership member Fr. Stephen Thorne encouraged the delegates with: “Don’t just talk about it. Do something.” So, within a month, the St. Raymond delegates met and then included the young people in a variety of activities.
Brandi Whitehead and her youth team had a pizza party. This was for middle-school students
and their parents. She laid out a plan that the team had developed. Brandi and the team
listened to suggestions, hopes, and concerns. She solicited further help from parents and other adults.
I met with a group of young adults over lunch. I listened to their thoughts and feelings about the church. We talked about meeting regularly. They suggested ways to use social media to reach out to other young people. They discussed what to do next and ways they might help the parish.
Last month, the Office for Black Catholics held an NBCC review session. The St. Raymond
Congress delegates invited a group of high school youth to attend. As I mentioned at Mass, they were amazing. We hope to post pictures from that session for all to see on Instagram and Facebook, maybe also our webpage. Each of those events has yet another “next best step” attached to move the momentum forward.
Next week, I will go further into my meditation by outlining the fourth and fifth “stars.”
Fr. Charles Zlock, Pastor
Each year, our parish has been very generous in supporting the AOP Catholic Charities Appeal. I just received a report that we have achieved 41% of our assigned goal. Please consider contributing to this effort that helps our Church lead the way in helping those in need. If you cannot find a Catholic Charities Appeal special envelope, please place your contribution in a plain envelope marked Catholic Charities. Your contribution can be placed in our Mass collection baskets. God will bless you for your generosity to others. Fr Charles Zlock
Our Church Family mourns the passing of a cherished member of our Church. Please join us on Friday, 9/22/23, for the Going Home Celebration of Faye Thomas. Viewing at 10:00 a.m. and Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. Eternal rest grant unto her, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Are you holding a grudge or feeling resentment towards someone? Take the first step and, in your heart, make the decision to forgive that person. Remember: forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing. You can forgive even if reconciliation isn't possible yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im2hU2yg3Eo ~Archbishop Pérez
Good things are happening at St. Raymond.
Good things are happening at St. Raymond, Celebrating Our Youth.
On Sunday, September 10th, Jessie Marushak, Samuel Pauling, and Phil Schwarz volunteered in Kensington on behalf of St. Raymond Church. Several of our youth came together in advance to prepare lunch and other necessities. St. Raymond’s young members made approximately 70 sandwiches and prepared 60 packages that included Band-Aids, hand wipes, and candy. It was also a teaching moment as they learned that those being served are facing numerous hardships but are still our brothers and sisters despite being homeless, addicted to drugs, or suffering from mental illness.
While there, Jessie, Sam, and Phil also handed out sodas, water, and socks to nearly 100 people. Everyone was extremely grateful and left, saying, “God bless you.”
Our Kensington Ministry plans to do more outreach in a few months. Stay tuned for more ways to help or donate to the people of our city.
10/8 = Annual Stewardship Collection - The Lord loves a Generous Giver
9/23 and 9/24 Monthly Prayer Team after Mass (always last Sunday)
Why not package them for Caring for Friends.
Containers are located in the Sacristy. We are in constant need of a variety of meals for ailing seniors. The one meal that you discard can be a meal for an ailing senior living alone. Frozen meals can be dropped off at the Rectory between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. Volunteers are also needed to deliver meals to seniors on a weekly basis. For more info, contact Arleen at 215-549-3760.
Youth Corner, Grades 6th-8th
Do you have a child in grades 6th-8th? Please contact Brandi to get them involved in our Middle School Youth Ministry. Below is the schedule that was created for the children. We would love to have all our Middle School Kids involved. Brandi can be contacted at email@example.com or 215-549-3760.
NEXT Sunday (10/1)
Meeting in SRR after 10:00 a.m. Mass.
(Jenn Cresina will facilitate)
Candy Apple Making
Pumpkin Picking and more @ Kohler Farms
(After 10:00 a.m. Mass)
St. Raymond Church is having a Trunk or Treat!!
Saturday, October 21st, from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the Church Parking Lot
Sign up to be a “Trunk.”
o Registered “Trunks” will bring candy to hand out PLUS be entered into our “BEST TRUNK” Contest.
Please register below
(Please copy and paste this link to your web browser.)
Sign Children up to “Treat”
o Registration is REQUIRED by using the link below
o $1 (per child) entry fee at the entrance of the parking lot
(Please copy and paste this link to your web browser.)
There will be activities, games, face painting, and more!
Come out and help OUR Youth Kids Celebrate Halloween!!
Please contact Brandi at 215-549-3760 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Family Faith Formation Sessions
Sept.17, 2023 – June 2, 2024
"Let the children come to me.”
Parents with children entering grades K through
7th grade are encouraged to attend. Sessions are
held immediately following the 10:00 Mass every
other Sunday in the lower church. Enrollment
forms are located on the desk in the rear of the
church. Contact Arleen Daniels 215-549-3760
email@example.com to receive a form via
email. The greatest gift you can give your child
is the gift of faith formation. If children do not
experience how to live for God, the world will
certainly show them how not to!
ARE YOU BEING CALLED?
Permanent Diaconate Information Session
Thursday, September 21, 2023, 7:00 PM
Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Vianney Auditorium
100 East Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096
We invite Catholic men (and wives if married) between the ages of 29 and 55 to join us for any-person panel of clergy about discerning a vocation to the Permanent Diaconate and admittance to the School for Diaconal Formation program.
Catholic Women’s Conference
Sat. Oct. 28, 2023
Registration Information Packets are located on the desk at the rear of the church. Please complete the pink form and return it to the basket provided to ensure that you are registered for the session of your choice. Please note you may only select one session.
Sign up early- the event fills up quickly!
Fr Charles Zlock has asked that you volunteer a minimum of 2 hours per month. How can you help? Please see below for a preliminary list of small, yet important activities.
Catechists; Faith Partners (RCIA); Altar server scheduling and training; Altar server robes (weekly straightens, regrouping, and periodic washing); Office volunteers: Administrative support like answering the phone and answering the door. Filling out sacramental forms for baptisms and Godparents. Ordering office and liturgical supplies. Office organization. Filing records and forms. Proofreading articles for the parish bulletin. Moving supplies to the church and office.
Mass slides operation; Camera operators; Ministry to the Sick (phone calls); Home visits to the sick report compiler, communication coordinator, etc;
Weekly exterior campus review with a follow-up report; Counting the collection; Caring for Friends assistant/ coordinator; Church Community Builder database update; ESL volunteers; and Certified drivers for the parish bus.
The engagement of parishioners is critical to leading to a St. Raymond that is alive, vibrant, and joyful. Please contact the rectory office at 215-549-3760, Or contact a member of the staff directly (names, phone numbers, and email addresses are on the front page of the parish bulletin).
The Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel will be producing and sharing a video series for Black Catholic History Month this coming November. We are seeking testimonials over the summer!
The theme for this year is "The Seed that fell on good soil" to honor the work, ministry, witness, and legacy of the Black Catholics who have given the Church the gift of themselves and "bore good fruit!".
If interested, please reach out to DrexelShrine@archphila.org or to Gina Ingiosi, Associate Director, St. Katharine Drexel Shrine and Venerable Cornelia Connelly Memorial in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul - Gingiosi@archphila.org, 267-603-7337
Opportunities to Reflect, Renew & Restore
Cranaleith Spiritual Center, 13475 Proctor Rd, Phila. Pa 19116
Gaelic for “sanctuary of trees,” Cranaleith offers serene and rejuvenating space to those who wish to reflect on what matters deeply in their lives, renew their spirit for life and work, or restore themselves from life’s traumas. Individuals and groups are invited to participate in retreats and other programs offered in a spirit-rekindling environment of well-being, respect, and harmony. Cranaleith is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy. For program information log on to, www.cranaleith.org
The Third Annual Mother Mary Lange Lecture in Black Catholic Studies will be held on Thursday, November 2, at 7:00 p.m. at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law. There is free parking in that area of campus. We will also live stream the event.
This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Maureen O’Connell, professor of Christian social ethics at LaSalle University. Dr. O’Connell is also the author of Undoing the Knots: Five Generations of Catholic Anti-Blackness (Beacon Press 2021).
Uncommon Faithfulness of Black Catholics: An Invitation to All
Join us on Saturday, October 14th, 2023, for a morning with Sister Cora Marie Billings, RSM. She will share her story and the story of her family to educate and inspire us.
The event will start with a meet & greet at 9:30 a.m., and Sr. Cora’s presentation will go from 10:00 a.m. until Noon.
Location: Saint Vincent de Paul Church, 109 East Price Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19144
Parking is available in the Church Lot on East Price Street, between Lena and Wakefield Streets.
YOU MUST REGISTER TO ATTEND: https://www.newencounters.org/events/uncommon-faithfulness-of-black-catholics-an-invitation-to-all
If you have any questions, please reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a joint presentation of the Archbishop’s Commission on Racial Healing and New Encounters: Catholics Confronting Racism.
ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA OFFICE FOR COMMUNICATIONS
REVEREND TIMOTHY TARNACKI, O.S.P.P.E., APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE FOR MINISTRY WITH YOUNG ADULTS
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez has appointed Reverend Timothy Tarnacki, O.S.P.P.E., as the Director of the Office for Ministry with Young Adults (OMYA). He succeeds Mr. Matthew Davis, who served in this post since November 2020. In making this appointment, Archbishop Pérez said, “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is home to a vibrant and passionate young adult community. Over the past several years, the Office for Ministry with Young Adults has worked with great zeal to build a spiritual formation program that engages young men and women from various backgrounds as they work to develop an authentic relationship with Christ.” I ask the people of our local Church to join me in prayerfully congratulating Father Tarnacki as he prepares to assume his new role. I know that he will help young adults encounter the transformative love of Jesus and inspire them to live a joyful life as a missionary disciple.”
To learn more about the Office for Faith Formation for Youth and Young Adults, please visit https://offyya.org/.
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